It was a quiet first day of Ramadan in my house. I spent most of the day just relaxing and reading. I've filled my Sony Reader with books from the New York Times Bestseller list and spent time reading articles on the internet, and of course some Islamic texts as well.
Late in the afternoon I roused the girls and got them into the kitchen. I've decided not to do the cooking this year but that doesn't mean I'm out of the kitchen completely because I still have to
shout at the girls supervise. Today the girls made Libyan soup, garlic bread, salad, and rice pilaf. Later Sara made banana, kiwi and strawberry frappé for dessert. It all turned out very well (everything was edible!).
When I first came to Libya I had a neighbour who lived downstairs that had children the same age as my kids. She wanted to learn how to cook American food and so every afternoon we would put our kids down for a nap and we'd get busy in the kitchen. We went through an entire Pillsbury cookbook together, as we'd cook my neighbour would translate the recipe of the day into a big notebook she kept to record her recipes. It took us a little over a year, but we cooked and baked everything in the book that we could get ingredients for. She learned how to cook and I got to practice my Arabic. She still uses the recipes I taught her. I used that same cookbook to teach my youngest sister-in-law how to bake cakes and cookies. Maybe it's time to drag that cookbook out again.